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Ravens News 6/14: WR Battle and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens OTA Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

For Ravens’ Patrick Queen, full offseason means full speed ahead - Jamison Hensley

“It’s just so hard when you’re not doing any football activity outside of working out, so that last offseason was terrible,” Queen said. “I came into [last] season, and I was like, ‘Bro, this is going to be a long season for me to get in shape.’ So, it took me like five games to get in shape, finally.”

Queen’s first season was filled with plenty of splash plays and some stumbles. He finished third in the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting — behind Washington’s Chase Young and Carolina’s Jeremy Chinn — which irked him. “Top 3 my a—,” Queen tweeted immediately afterward.

Queen’s most memorable hit was when he met a leaping Washington running back Peyton Barber at the goal line with his right forearm, knocking Barber backwards off the pile. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he became the first rookie in more than two decades to record at least 100 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one defensive touchdown.

“I’m proud of myself. It’s hard to make it to this level — let alone be in the conversation for Defensive Rookie of the Year,” Queen said. “So, I’m proud of myself, and I’m still hard on myself. As I look back, pass coverage, stuff is so easy that I’m getting now, that last year I was just messing up time and time and time again. Now, it’s just simplifying everything. I really can’t wait for the season to start, so everybody could see how much work I’ve put in to be better.”

Ravens Stay True to Who They Are - Ryan Mink

The Ravens are still going to run the ball – a lot. You know why? Because they’re really good at it and they win a lot of games because of it.

Baltimore knows that upgrading its passing attack this season is key to reaching the next level offensively. It’s not going to automatically win more playoff games, but it could help.

While Jackson will continue to mature with his right arm, his legs are still what makes him truly special. Every quarterback can throw. No other quarterback in the NFL can run like Jackson. He may take off less as the years go by, but he’s still going to run a lot.

Jackson needs the pieces around him to take the next step as a passer. Now with three first-rounders at wide receiver and one of the league’s top pass-catching tight ends, he has plenty to work with.

A Look at the Ravens Wide Receivers Chances of Making Final Roster - Todd Karpovich

6. James Proche

Acquired: Sixth-round selection (201st overall) in 2020 draft,

Analysis: Proche caught just one pass for 14 yards and Proche did an effective job returning punts before being inactive late in the season because of a roster crunch.

Outlook: In the mix/practice squad.

7. Miles Boykin

Acquired: Third-round selection (93rd overall) in 2019 draft.

Analysis: Boykin, 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, was targeted just 33 times and caught 19 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns. The question is what roles does he have in this offense.

Outlook: In the mix/potential trade candidate.

8. Deon Cain

Acquired: Signed reserve/future contract in 2021.

Analysis: Cain is the wild card among this group. At 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, he has solid size to match up with cornerbacks. Cain was the most impressive wide receiver at the Ravens voluntary practices last week. He caught several passes in traffic and hauled in a touchdown in the corner of the end zone.

Outlook: In the mix/practice squad.

Ravens announce five promotions in personnel department, including coveted official - Jonas Shaffer

Nick Matteo has been promoted from director of football administration to vice president of football administration, a role that includes salary cap management and general roster transactions. He’s also the Ravens’ key liaison with the NFL Management Council and NFL Players Association.

The Carolina Panthers requested to interview Matteo for their then-vacant general-manager position in January, according to Sports Illustrated, but he declined.

“Nick has done a great job since joining the Ravens,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a release. “He thoroughly understands every aspect of organizational and NFL management, and his diligence helps us handle some of the league’s most complex matters.”

Every NFL franchise’s best team of the Super Bowl era: 2020 Buccaneers crack all-time list - Bryan DeArdo

Baltimore Ravens: 2000*

16-4 overall record

Won franchise’s first Super Bowl title

Allowed 10.3 points per game, the fewest in NFL history during a 16-game season

The Ravens’ 2012 championship team may have been a more balanced unit, but the utter dominance of Baltimore’s 2000 defense gives them the nod as the franchise’s greatest team. That season, Baltimore’s defense, led by Ray Lewis and Hall of Fame safety Rod Woodson, recorded four shutouts during the regular season before allowing a total of 23 points in four postseason games. In Super Bowl XXXV, the Ravens’ defense shut out the Giants’ offense while holding New York to just 152 total yards.

Baltimore’s 2000 squad also featured the league’s best returner in Jermaine Lewis, whose 84-yard kickoff return for a score in Super Bowl XXXV ended any hope of a Giants comeback. The Ravens’ offense featured a punishing running game, led by Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes. Baltimore’s offense also included Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe, whose 96-yard score spearheaded the Ravens’ 16-3 win over Oakland in the AFC Championship Game.

NFL free agency 2021: The 21 greatest free agent moves in league history - Nate Davis

12. DB Rod Woodson

His Hall of Fame career was likely cemented after his first 10 years in Pittsburgh, where he was a five-time All-Pro corner. But Woodson played for three more teams in his final seven seasons, serving as a Pro Bowl safety for the legendary 2000 Ravens defense and getting his only All-Pro nod at safety two years later when he was Gannon’s teammate on the 2002 AFC champion Raiders.